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10/25/2010

A year ago: 'Banjo Fred' Starner

October 25, 2010 |  6:03 am

"Banjo Fred" Starner was an economics professor and folk singer who documented hobo music and culture.

He often explained that hobos weren’t bums but "people who rode the rails for a year or two to get their act together, then went back to rejoin the rest of the world."

Starner died a year ago at age 72.

"Fred Starner was very much a musician of the people," said Mary Katherine Aldin, a folk-music historian. Here's a video from a performance in 2008.

In his "Hobo's Lullaby," Starner sang:

A hobo is life at its core
Happiness is not making more
and more.

Starner's obituary appeared in The Times on Nov. 11, 2009.

-- Keith Thursby

Photo: Fred Starner in 1993. Credit: Scott Rathurn /For the Los Angeles Times

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